with a twist
NTC summer production is
By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer
It’s wedding season. Do you
hear those bells and smell those bouquets being made just-so to match the
hideous mauve of the bridesmaids’ dresses? Alas, weddings come equipped with
in-laws, and out-laws. And where should they stay and will they—God, please—get
along? Suddenly, eloping sounds like a mighty fine idea.
But not so fast.
One Sun Valley wedding will
not go that route due to sheer entertainment value. Appearing at Our Lady of the
Snows Catholic Church, it’s "A Big Hitch: A Cowboy Wedding." A
wedding within a play, "The Big Hitch" will be staged Sunday through
Thursday evenings from June 18 through July 10.
Really, it’s "event
theater" as New Theatre Company director and actor David Blampied so aptly
put it. The wedding party is the cast. The guests at the wedding are you, the
audience. There’s a ceremony, a reception with dancing and dinner. And there
Inspired by such interactive
theater productions as "Tony & Tina’s Wedding" and "Aunt
Sylvia’s Funeral," Blampied and Chris Millspaugh conceived of a show that
would incorporate Sun Valley’s rich history. Millspaugh—in the guise of Dr.
Spa—penned the script.
Though a long time performer
in the valley, Millspaugh’s day job is the director of the Community Library’s
Historical Reference section. He was able to use his expertise of the history of
the valley while creating two contrasting families uniting for a Sun Valley
wedding, he said.
"We mixed a twisted
version of local history with a sprinkle of caricature, a pinch of stereotype
and a dash of reality to create a unique theatrical event," Blampied said.
"To give the families a sense of reality, the cast gathered twice—once
for a potluck at the mother of the bride’s house and once for the bachelor and
bachelorette parties at the Silver Dollar saloon. This afforded the cast members
a chance to interact with the public as these fictitious characters."
The bride, Rainbeaux Dutton,
is the daughter of a failed and jailed financier and a former B movie actress,
Eva Swan Dutton from Los Angeles. A spiritual recluse, Rainbeaux’s half sister
Rowena, has taken a vow of silence. The maid of honor is a man-eating tattooed
rockabilly singer. Her curmudgeon of a grandfather—who’s footing the wedding
bill—is, at 88, the last surviving Austrian ski instructor in Sun Valley.
Then there’s the groom,
Howdy Bigamee, and his family. The Bigamees of Bellevue are notorious, thanks to
his rancher father’s many romantic indiscretions. One brother is a bit of a
wastrel in the cowpoking department, while his best friend, Curly, just got out
of rehab. Grandma Bigamee, who raised the boys, lived a wild life in Sun Valley
in the 1940s and 1950s, and has tales to tell.
The new age minister may be
in love. The flamboyant caterer as well. But with whom?
Much of the show is
improvisational and the audience is encouraged to participate, down to and
including arrivals, trips to the facilities and dancing. In this way, "The
Big Hitch" will be different each evening.
As with any proper reception,
dinner—a barbecue in this case—champagne and beer will be served. A DJ—who
is part of the cast—keeps the evening rolling with music to dance by, and
"There will be all the
wedding things around," Blampied said. "But it’s quirky and
The ensemble includes Boise
State University student and actress Lindsay Wooten as Rainbeaux, Claudia
McCain, Dana DuGan, Devon Riley, J.D. Ryan, Doug Hanks, Nick Green, Harry
Millspaugh, Christine Leslie, David Barovetto, Charles Rinerson, Chris
Millspaugh, Lenny Joseph and Blampied as the minister.
In creating the fictitious
families of a Bellevue cowboy and a California transplant who meet and fall in
love at the Silver Dollar Saloon, NTC has made "a raucous comedy about us,
the people of the Wood River Valley," Millspaugh said.
In appreciation of the
community’s on-going support, New Theatre Company is having two locals’
nights, with reduced prices on June 18 and 19.
The seating is limited for
all the shows, so NTC suggests reserving a table early. Tickets are available at
Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum, Ex Libris in Sun Valley and Read All About it
in Hailey, or at ticketweb.com. For group rates, call 726-2271.
Respondez vous, cuz it’s a